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literally made of candy

In the late 70’s Donny Osmond was my first sweet spoonful of passion with a sprinkle of obsession, wrapped in a fringed leather vest. Many of my young nights were spent angrily trying to silence  the voice in my head that said he would not show up on my driveway and proclaim his adoration since he was an internationally famous singer and I was in the first grade. I shut my eyes and dreamed stubbornly of him holding my hand and gazing lovingly into my eyes, reaching the limit of my romantic knowledge. He was talented, adorable, and as sexual as a Mormon gets.  That was close enough for me.

He took my love seriously.  He was careful with it.  He never robbed a Chuck E Cheese or overdosed on Sudafed or exposed himself on a roller coaster or killed his wife with a badminton racket.  I never had to hear about an extramarital relationship with a Cocker Spaniel because Maury Povich declared “Donny, you ARE the puppy daddy!”  I didn’t have to swallow back the vomit rising as I watched hidden video of him injecting heroin into his eyeballs or getting busted making fake, synthetic ‘Slim Jim’ meat sticks in his basement called ‘Sim Jim’.

He shielded me from disappointment like a thick, 1980’s hairspray and never let me down. I didn’t get to practice having my reality shattered into dust until real life, without so much as a leaked sex tape for warm up.  I was totally unprepared for the world, and love in the world, where heroes kick blind babies in the face and lovers turn out to be physically attracted to corn cob holders. The only crime he ever committed was his variety show, but if you can’t enjoy it for the Charo and Paul Lynde vehicle that it was then you know nothing of entertainment and the genius of Donny and Marie is wasted on you.

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Emmy worthy haircuts, for your consideration

As the years passed my heart wandered toward emotionally damaged rock drummers and serotonin-deprived artists who taught me the hard knocks of disillusionment before abandoning me in me favor of death, plastic surgery or reality television. Still, Donny lingered…hosting a talk show, lending his white-guy backup-dancer moves to a “Weird Al” Yankovic music video, just leaning in as if he sensed I needed to remember that sometimes good guys are just good, not cloaked like Predator by a fast-acting public relations team.

He is the longest, most successful romantic relationship I have ever had, and although he has no knowledge of it, his timing is always as perfect as his pitch.  As soon as I start to see the flaws overtaking the light, the moment I think that maybe everyone is a

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I have 600 of these at home

disappointment waiting to happen, that every turtleneck sweater hides a horrifying “Jon Gosselin for President” neck tattoo, Donny swoops in and wins Dancing With the Stars.

And just like that, everything is back to being a little bit county, a little bit rock and roll, and a lot more sparkly.

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